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We use the RIBA Plan of Work 2020 to work through your project from concept to completion.

How we can work with you stage by stage

Here Rural Space Architecture presents as part of M+HW monthly Architectural Happy Hour from a range of professionals at the Long Table in Stroud. We discuss working with an Architect together with a collection of architectural precedents that we hope will inspire you and give you a bit of confidence in how an architect can add value to your project, with design considerations that we have in mind for reconfiguring existing homes.

 If you are thinking of extending or starting a new build project, it is highly likely that you will need planning permission or listed building consent if your project is listed.  An architect can add a lot of value at these stages [see RIBA working with an architect for your home] to test if a new proposal is viable for your needs. There are 7 stages of the RIBA Plan of Work which are in general split into pre-planning (stages 0-3) and post planning (stages 4-7). We try and break these down below*:

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Stage 1

This stage is about siting the new intervention, getting a feel for its massing, orientation on the site and identifying key views.


We will explore a range of ideas with conceptual sketches. If appropriate, we will generate a block model which will help with visualising the massing of the new proposals in relation to its context. We will present to you these options where you can feedback on what you like and what you don't. There is no right or wrong answer and you may choose an amalgamation of options.  This is also a good time to explore some precedent images of what the architectural language could be. Your feedback, will be incorporated with the design which will be developed further in the next stage. Where necessary, we will advise on the appointment of future consultants, whose specialist input/surveys may be required.

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Stage 0

This is an initial phone discussion where we can have a chat about your project and your brief. If we feel we can help you with your project, we may suggest paying you a visit. 

We would like to engage how you currently use your spaces and what you envision your new project will offer you and your family. We will try and understand your priorities and which two out of three forces (cost, quality or time) drive for your project.

Once we have a better insight, we will  send you a fee and an appointment for our services. 

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Stage 2

Your preferred option will be developed further based on your feedback from the closing of the previous stage. The architectural language and materiality will be developed. This is usually a good point to take the proposal to pre-app (if necessary)  to get the planners' early comments so we can integrate them into the design. The advised pre-planning consultants will now be onboard and we will be coordinating them as lead consultant. 

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Stage 3

Stage 3 is all about bringing the design together into a package ready for Planning Submission. This typically includes a Design and Access Statement along with plans and elevations and consultants' reports. 

*Once planning permission has been granted, the design has been fixed, design changes are possible but may require a new submission or an amendment which will be an extra cost.

**Once the planning is fixed, we may have to discharge any relevant planning conditions at the next stage for an extra cost.

Stage 4

Here, we will get into the detail of how the building comes together. We will continue liaising with consultants and the design team may be expanded with building control, quantity surveyor, structural and M&E engineers.


Together, we will produce a tender pack containing information that will allow for pricing based on an agreed construction method and procurement route.  


Most of our projects are procured through a competitive tender process which identifies several potential contractors who will price the design before a preferred contractor is selected. The final outcome of stage 4 is to negotiate a building contract that all parties are happy to sign. This process is greatly aided with a Quantity Surveyor's input. 


We can also help you with the finishing touches of interior design or direct you to suppliers. Our family business Chilli By The Sea, specialises in quirky interior accessories.

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Stage 5

Following signing of an appropriate building contract with all the relevant parties, we can produce construction drawings and offer Contract Administration services and regular on-site meetings.

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Stage 6 & 7

Various contractual requirements which allow the building contract to be concluded such as snagging defects. The project is then handed over and you may now enjoy inhabiting it. 'As built' drawings if required are issued for your records

Stage 7 is encouraged for collecting data from post occupancy and evaluating how your building is performing. This helps with keeping standards high in the industry and better our understanding in the sustainability of the built environment. 

*The stages and associated works as described above may differ from project to project and are clearly identified in your agreed fee proposal. 

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